17 October 2022

Praying for World Peace and with USPG:
Monday 17 October 2022

Street art in Rethymnon in Crete … today, the Week of Prayer for World Peace invites prayers on the theme of the Environmental Crisis caused by wars (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today (17 October) remembers Saint Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch and Martyr, (ca) 107, with a Lesser Festival.

Before today gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for reading, prayer and reflection.

This year, the Week of Prayer for World Peace is from 16 to 23 October. In my prayer diary from this Sunday until next Sunday, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, One of the readings for the morning;

2, A reflection from the programme for the Week of Prayer for World Peace (16 to 23 October);

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’

The view of the Coliseum from the Basilica of San Clemente … Saint Ignatius of Antioch was martyred in the Coliseum and his relics were moved to San Clemente in the year 637 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Saint Ignatius was born probably in Syria in about the year 35 CE and was either the second or third Bishop of Antioch, the third largest city in the Roman Empire. Nothing is known of his life except his final journey under armed escort to Rome, where he was martyred around the year 107. In the course of this journey, he met Polycarp in Smyrna, and wrote a number of letters to various Christian congregations that are among the greatest treasures of the primitive Church. In the face of persecution, he appealed to his fellow Christians to maintain unity with their bishop at all costs. His letters reveal his passionate commitment to Christ, and how he longed ‘to imitate the passion of my God.’

John 6: 52-58 (NRSVA):

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53 So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’

The Week of Prayer for World Peace takes place this year from Sunday 16 October 2022 to Sunday 23 October 2022

Week of Prayer for World Peace 2022, Day 2:

The week of Prayer for World Peace takes place from the second to third Sunday in October each year, which this year is from yesterday (Sunday 16 October 2022) to next Sunday (23 October 2022).

The Week of Prayer for World Peace is supported by a wide range of organisations, many of which I have engaged with over the years, including the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Christian CND, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, and Quaker Peace and Social Witness.

Day 2: Environmental Crisis Caused by Wars:

We pray for the restoration of lands damaged by chemicals and other products of war.

‘May the heavens be at peace, may the sky be at peace, may the Earth be at peace, peace to the water, peace to the trees and nature, may the gods be at peace, that peace unto Brahma (the creator) and may we humans realise that peace.

‘Om Peace Peace Peace Om.’ – Shanti Path/Peace Mantra (Hindu)

‘Let us pray for an end to the waste and desecration of God’s creation, for access to the fruits of creation to be shared equally among all people.’ – part of Jesuit resource (time.com).

‘O loving God, from ravaged lands,
‘destroyed by war,
‘Your people lift their hands to you.
‘We pray for stillness, for justice and for peace to come and to last.’ – From Ignatian Solidarity Network prayer for an end to violence, war and death

‘May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,
God within me,
God beyond me,
maker of the trees.’ – Chinook prayer, Pacific Northwest Coast

‘Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing.’ – Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh

A colonnade of 14 Corinthian columns on the west side of the Stoa of Smyrna, the only surviving classical site in Izmir … Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote four of his letters, including one to the Church in Smyrna, while he was a prisoner in Smyrna (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayer (Monday 17 October 2022, Saint Ignatius of Antioch):

The Collect:

Feed us, O Lord, with the living bread
and make us drink deep of the cup of salvation
that, following the teaching of your bishop Ignatius
and rejoicing in the faith
with which he embraced a martyr’s death,
we may be nourished for that eternal life
for which he longed;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Post Communion Prayer:

God our redeemer,
whose Church was strengthened by the blood of your martyr Ignatius:
so bind us, in life and death, to Christ’s sacrifice
that our lives, broken and offered with his,
may carry his death and proclaim his resurrection in the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week is ‘World Food Day.’ This theme was introduced yesterday.

The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:

We pray for the Anglican Council of Malawi and their service to communities across Malawi.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Street art in Rethymnon in Crete … today, the Week of Prayer for World Peace invites prayers on the theme of the Environmental Crisis caused by wars (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

The 42-hectare Kültürpark was laid out on the ruins of the Greek quarter of Smyrna … while Saint Ignatius was in Smyrna as a prisoner, representatives of Churches throughout Asia Minor came to meet him and to comfort him (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)


Anonymous said...

Dear Patrick

This is not quite on point so forgive me. I have recently returned to the Church of Ireland after a long time away, and now attend St George's in Belfast. I was wondering if you could share some of your own essential reading for someone new/returning to Christian faith and who wishes to deepen their understanding.

Thanks for your blog which represents an excellent and thoughtful resource.



Patrick Comerford said...

Thank you Steven.

If you post a second comment, with your email address, I can avoid it appearing on this page but can then email you a reply.

Many thanks,